Public feedback shaping pool contract

Cobar Shire Council has this week released the specifications for the new contract for the management of the Cobar Memorial Swimming Pool and is expecting lots of interest.

Council’s director of finance and community services, Kym Miller said the new contract has been written with community feedback taken into account.

“I think we’ve responded to the community pretty well,” Mr Miller told The Cobar Weekly.

“The feedback was pretty clear, people want a longer season, so we’ve put that in.”

He said the pool will open each year on the October long weekend and will close at the end of Easter, approximately the middle of April the following year.

“We’ve also put some extra hours on the day in busy months,” Mr Miller said.

The contract will run for three years with a further two year option.

“We hope the new operator will see five years as a good investment. We think this is pretty fair.”

Mr Miller said interested parties wishing to tender will have a mandatory site inspection to avoid “having anybody bid blind”.

As part of the new pool contract council will also be looking into how the new operator plans to run the pool.

“As well as letting us know about their Work Health and Safety and training, they will also need to give an indication of how they are going to run the canteen and an indication of how they are going to run swimming lessons.”

Mr Miller said they were things they had learned were “trigger points” from the feedback they received from pool users.

“So that’s going into the weightings for the first time this year.

“The difference is we are putting a focus on other things beside pool maintenance in this contract,” Mr Miller said.

“We’ll also look at their attitude towards employment. Last year I think it employed up to 30 people, which was brilliant. It was a great opportunity for locals, particularly teenagers, to get training, customer service and leadership skills.”

With the new barbecues and shelters planned to be finished for the opening of the 2018/2019 season and a few other little jobs getting done such as the installation of a sunshade on the tower of the water slide to protect the pool attendant, Mr Miller said it’s shaping up to be a good season.

“We’ve got a leak proof pool now and that’s also a bonus,” Mr Miller said.

He said council can now focus on continuing to make further improvements to the complex.

“We think there will be a lot of interest in the new contract and there clearly is because there’s been a whole bunch of new players in the market,” Mr Miller said.

“We are ever hopeful that locals will be involved in the running of the pool, whether that’s in conjunction with a big player from elsewhere or in their own right.”